It is only human to be inquisitive I suppose –
to poke our noses into where they should not be.
I want to buy your house – well maybe that is,
if I can first look in your cupboards and trawl
through your life.

Look at the lovely pictures of grandchildren
placed at such odd angles on the mantlepiece,
as if their family is normal, as if any family is.
She says her son’s away at university studying
an ology – she can’t remember which one.
“The place is just too big for me now.”

Five minutes more here and I would run off too.
Specially tidied away are the newspapers that
do not belong in a show home. The antique
sandwich fished out from the side of the settee
by our marigold-wearing host, binned.

Previously cluttered rooms now shine with a disinfected
smile – becoming compressed into a garage-full of tat.
In the master bedroom a free standing organ stands close
to the bed. Forlorn and unloved since her late husband died.
“It is also included in the sale”, she says and swiftly moves on.
I secretly caress the cool mahogany lid whilst passing.

The air is moist with a moistness that only comes from
aerosol cans, covering up the smell of being human.
We pollute, clean up and pollute again – an example of
graffiti art with the colour drained and the humour surgically removed.



poem © copyright Brian Shirra 2012

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